Shelton State Community College offers opportunities for students to enter a variety of health-related careers; preparation varies from two semester certificate curricula to longer programs of study. Programs are led by qualified instructors and have earned specialized accreditations.
Health-related careers in nursing and other allied health fields are designed to educate, train, and successfully prepare students to demonstrate competent, caring qualities best representing the expectations of professional health care providers. After reviewing this section of suggested healthcare programs, students should meet with an academic advisor in the campus advising center for assistance with course selection. Final responsibility for this belongs to the student.
Shelton State Community College offers career opportunities in nursing through three program tracks which allow students to choose the nursing career path for which they are best suited.
- Students who have no background in nursing are admitted to the two-year Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) track. Twenty-one (21) months, five consecutive semesters, are required for this track of study with admission occurring during the fall semester.
- Students who have completed an approved Practical Nursing (PN) program or hold a PN license are admitted to the Mobility/LPN to RN track. Twelve to fifteen (12-15) months, three to four (3-4) consecutive semesters, are required to complete this track of study with students entering during the summer semester.
- Students may also be admitted to the Practical Nursing (PN) program. The PN track is a twelve (12) month (three semesters) program. Classes for the PN track are admitted in the fall and spring semesters.
The nursing programs prepare graduates to sit for the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN licensure exams. The programs are approved by the Alabama Board of Nursing, P.O. Box 303900, Montgomery, AL 36130; telephone 334.293.5200 or visit www.abn.alabama.gov. The AD and PN tracks are also accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN), 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326; telephone 404.975.5000, or visit www.acenursing.org.
- Students may begin their nursing career through the Nursing Assistant/Home Health Aide Program (NA/HHA), which is two semesters of study. Graduates of the NA/HHA program are qualified for employment in the areas of long-term care, home health care, or acute care and may sit for certification examinations. The NA/HHA program is approved by the Alabama Department of Public Health, The RSA Tower, 201 Monroe Street, Suite 600, Montgomery, AL 36104, telephone 334.206.5169, or visit www.adph.org.
Nursing Programs Policies
In addition to complying with all College policies, students enrolled in the nursing programs must have knowledge of and adhere to the following policies.
Essential Function Standards
The Alabama College System and Shelton State Community College endorse the Americans with Disabilities Act. In accordance with College policy, when requested, reasonable accommodations may be provided for individuals with disabilities. Physical, cognitive, psychomotor, affective, and social abilities are required in unique combinations to provide safe and effective nursing care. The applicant/student must be able to meet the essential functions with or without reasonable accommodations throughout the program of learning. Admission, progression, and graduation are contingent upon one’s ability to demonstrate the essential functions delineated for the nursing programs with or without reasonable accommodations. The nursing programs and/or affiliated clinical agencies may identify additional essential functions. The nursing programs reserve the right to amend the essential functions as deemed necessary.
In order to be admitted and to progress in the nursing program one must possess a functional level of ability to perform the duties required of a nurse. Admission or progression may be denied if a student is unable to demonstrate the essential functions with or without reasonable accommodations.
The essential functions delineated are those deemed necessary by the Alabama Community College System nursing programs. No representation regarding industrial standards is implied. Similarly, any reasonable accommodations made will be determined and applied to the respective nursing program and may vary from reasonable accommodations made by healthcare employers.
The essential functions delineated below are necessary for nursing program admission, progression, and graduation and for the provision of safe and effective nursing care. The essential functions include but are not limited to the following:
- Sensory Perception
- Observe and discern subtle changes in physical conditions and the environment
- Visualize different color spectrums and color changes
- Read fine print in varying levels of light
- Read for prolonged periods of time
- Read cursive writing
- Read at varying distances
- Read data/information displayed on monitors/equipment
- Interpret monitoring devices
- Distinguish muffled sounds heard through a stethoscope
- Hear and discriminate high and low frequency sounds produced by the body and the environment
- Effectively hear to communicate with others
- Tactile - Discern tremors, vibrations, pulses, textures, temperature, shapes, size, location, and other physical characteristics
- Olfactory - Detect body odors and odors in the environment
- Communication/Interpersonal Relationships
- Engage in a two-way written and verbal communication.
- Interact effectively with others from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.
- Work effectively in groups.
- Work effectively independently.
- Discern and interpret nonverbal communication.
- Express one’s ideas and feelings clearly.
- Communicate with others accurately in a timely manner.
- Obtain communications from a computer.
- Cognitive/Critical Thinking
- Effectively read, write, and comprehend the English language.
- Consistently and dependably engage in the process of critical thinking in order to formulate and implement safe and ethical nursing decisions in a variety of health care settings.
- Demonstrate satisfactory performance on written examinations including mathematical computations without a calculator.
- Satisfactorily achieve the program objectives.
- Motor Function
- Handle small, delicate equipment/objects without extraneous movement, contamination, or destruction.
- Move, position, turn, transfer, assist with lifting, or lift and carry clients without injury to clients, self, or others.
- Maintain balance from any position.
- Stand on both legs.
- Coordinate hand/eye movements.
- Push/pull heavy objects without injury to client, self, or others.
- Stand, bend, walk, and/or sit for six to twelve hours in a clinical setting performing physical activities requiring energy without jeopardizing the safety of the client, self, or others.
- Walk without a cane, walker, or crutches.
- Function with hands free for nursing care and transporting items.
- Transport self and client without the use of electrical devices.
- Flex, abduct, and rotate all joints freely.
- Respond rapidly to emergency situations.
- Maneuver in small areas.
- Perform daily care functions for the client.
- Coordinate fine and gross motor hand movements to provide safe effective nursing care.
- Calibrate/use equipment.
- Execute movement required to provide nursing care in all health care settings.
- Perform CPR and physical assessment.
- Operate a computer.
- Professional Behavior
- Convey caring, respect, sensitivity, tact, compassion, empathy, tolerance, and a healthy attitude toward others.
- Demonstrate a mentally healthy attitude that is age appropriate in relationship to the client.
- Handle multiple tasks concurrently.
- Perform safe, effective nursing care for clients in a caring context.
- Understand and follow the policies and procedures of the College and clinical agencies.
- Understand the consequences of violating the student code of conduct.
- Understand that posing a direct threat to self or others is unacceptable and subjects one to discipline.
- Meet qualifications for licensure by examination as stipulated by the Alabama Board of Nursing.
- Function effectively in situations of uncertainty and stress inherent in providing nursing care.
- Adapt to changing environments and situations.
- Remain free of chemical dependency.
- Report promptly to clinical placements, and remain for six to twelve hours on the clinical unit.
- Provide nursing care in an appropriate time frame.
- Accept responsibility, accountability, and ownership of one’s actions.
- Seek supervision/consultation in a timely manner.
- Examine and modify one’s own behavior when it interferes with nursing care or learning.
Upon admission, an individual who discloses a disability can request reasonable accommodations. Individuals will be asked to provide documentation of the disability in order to assist with the provision of appropriate, reasonable accommodations. Shelton State will provide reasonable accommodations but is not required to substantially alter the requirements or nature of the program or provide accommodations that inflict an undue burden on the College. In order to be admitted, one must be able to perform all of the essential functions with or without reasonable accommodations. If an individual’s health changes during the program of learning so that the essential functions cannot be met with or without reasonable accommodations, the student will be withdrawn from the nursing program. The nursing faculty reserves the right at any time to require an additional medical examination at the student’s expense in order to assist with the evaluation of the student’s ability to perform the essential functions. Requests for reasonable accommodations should be directed to the Office of Disability Services, 205.391.2983, located on the second floor of the Martin Campus.
Because participation in clinical courses is an integral part of the nursing programs at the College, each student is required to comply with all policies and procedures of the contracted clinical agencies. Therefore, each student is expected to uphold the contractual terms in the contracts upon being admitted to the nursing program. All costs/expenses associated with meeting the health and general policy requirements of the program are the responsibility of the student. The following policies and procedures are required by all students upon acceptance and enrollment to the nursing program:
- Proof of completion of a physical examination which demonstrates the student is free from disease (physically and psychologically) and must be documented on the Shelton State Community College Medical Record by a licensed health care provider (physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner)
- Vaccinations including Hepatitis B series or evidence of immunity, MMR (German Measles, Mumps, Rubella) or evidence of immunity, and TB skin test Note: Hepatitis series completed more than two (2) years prior to admission must have a titer drawn or provide proof of immunity
- Purchase of liability and accident insurance available through the College
- Completion of pre-clinical drug screen prior to admission and before the first day of class. The students must have a negative screen prior to beginning any nursing course. The complete drug screen policy is located in the Nursing Program Student Handbook.
- Background check prior to admission and before the first day of class. All students must give permission to perform a background check as required by federal law. The student must abide by the nursing program background check policy and clinical agency policy for which the student is assigned. Every effort will be made to provide students with the required clinical experiences to meet program objectives. Any student denied access by a clinical affiliate will be subject to dismissal from the program.
- Proof of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training at the health care provider level (BLS/Infant/Child) prior to admission and/or before the first clinical nursing course
- Proof of health insurance strongly encouraged to cover health care costs not covered by liability or accident insurance
- Completion of training on Universal Precautions, OSHA requirements, and the prevention and management of the spread of diseases. Training is given in the introductory/fundamentals course. Additional information is given related to hospital policies including, but not limited to, issues of confidentiality, procedures, fire and safety procedures, and documentation policies.
Students in all health care programs must comply with Public Law #102-141, Section 633, and “The Alabama Infected Health Care Worker Management Act.” The law requires that the HIV and HBV infected care worker report to the State Health Officers his/her condition within thirty (30) days of the time that he/she is aware of the infection. The infected health care worker must realize that any physician providing care to any infected health care worker must notify the State Health Care Officer of the infected status within seven days of the time he/she diagnoses or provides such care.
Grading and Progression Policies
Nursing programs use the following grading scale for all nursing courses:
|A = 90-100
|B = 80-89
|C = 75-79
|D = 60-74
||Poor - Failing in the Nursing Program
|F = 59 and below
Note: In the drug calculation component of NUR 104 and in any calculation tests in the program, a B is defined as 85-89 percent, and a minimum grade of B (85 percent) is required to pass the calculation component of the course(s). A minimum letter grade of C or 75 percent is required in all other nursing courses to pass and progress in the program. In each course a student must achieve a 75 percent (C) average on unit exams and a comprehensive final exam to successfully complete the course. Other grades will be added only after the minimum 75 percent (C) is achieved.
Clinical/Laboratory performance must be satisfactory (S) to receive a passing grade in the course. Refer to the Nursing Program Student Handbook and each course syllabus for additional information.
Clock-Hour to Credit-Hour Ratio
Theory (1:1) - One hour of theory instruction under the supervision of an instructor plus an average of two hours of out of class study per week.
Laboratory (2:1) - Two hours of experimental laboratory under the supervision of an instructor plus an average of one hour of out-of-class study per week.
Skills Laboratory/Clinical Practice (3:1) - Three hours of skills laboratory or clinical practice under the supervision of an instructor.
Preceptorship (3:1) - Three hours of clinical experience per week under the supervision of a health care professional who is currently licensed, has expertise in the selected clinical area, and serves as a facilitator of learning.
In order to continue in the nursing program, the student must:
- Achieve a letter grade of C (70) or higher in all required general education courses and a letter grade of C (75) or higher in all nursing courses.
- Be accepted by all clinical agencies for clinical experiences. If a student is dismissed from a clinical agency, they may be dismissed from the program and/or receive a failing grade for the course enrolled.
- Be up to date on immunizations/clinical requirements as required by the nursing program and clinical facility.
- Maintain the ability to meet essential functions for nursing with or without reasonable accommodations.
- Maintain current CPR at the health provider level.
- Complete all nursing courses in the prescribed sequence. If a student withdraws or makes a failing grade in a nursing course, the student cannot progress in the program until the course is repeated successfully. Course repetition will be based on instructor availability and program resources.
- Withdraw and/or fail (D, F, or W) one or more required courses in a single semester must apply for reinstatement to the program.
- Withdraw and/or fail (D, F, or W) two or more required courses in the first semester of the nursing program must apply for admission as a new student.
- Withdraw and/or fail (D, F, or W) a course(s) in two separate semesters in the nursing program will be dismissed from the program.
- Have a documented extenuating circumstance that should be considered related to a withdrawal or failure may request a hearing before the Nursing Admission Committee or other appropriate College committee for a decision on repeating a course or readmission to the program.
Students whose progression through the nursing programs is interrupted and who desire reinstatement in the program must:
- Schedule an appointment with a nursing faculty advisor or the Director of Nursing Programs to discuss eligibility for reinstatement.
- Apply for reinstatement by published submission deadlines. Students who submit a reinstatement request after the deadline may be considered at the next course availability.
- Apply for readmission to the College if not currently enrolled.
- Demonstrate competency in previous nursing course(s) as indicated.
- Update immunizations, drug screenings, and other health records as required for clinical experience.
Priority for reinstatement will be given to students who began the program at the College.
Reinstatement to the nursing programs is not guaranteed. The following criteria must be met:
- Receipt of completed reinstatement form by published deadline
- Request reinstatement within one year (less than 12 months) from the term of withdrawal or failure
- Adhere to the current nursing curriculum and program policies and procedures in effect in the College Catalog and Handbook at the point or reinstatement
- Meet academic eligibility
- A grade point average of 2.0 from nursing courses completed at SSCC
- A cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher at SSCC
- Clinical space availability
- Meet acceptable criteria for placement at clinical agencies for clinical experiences.
- The student has not been reinstated to a nursing program prior to present request.
- The student has not been dismissed from a previous nursing program for disciplinary reasons and/or unsafe/unsatisfactory client care in the clinical area.
Reinstatement: Students who have a withdrawal or failure in a nursing course and are eligible to return to that course will be considered for reinstatement to the program.
Readmission: Students not eligible for program reinstatement may apply for program admission as a new student. If accepted as a new student, the student must take or retake all nursing program courses.
Students wishing to transfer must:
- Meet the entry and admission standards for the institution and the nursing programs.
- Provide evidence that all required general education and nursing courses were completed with a grade of C or higher taken at another institution and maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA in all previous college work at the time of transfer.
- Be a student in good standing and eligible to return to the previous nursing program.
- Provide a letter of recommendation from the dean/director of the previous program.
- Complete at least 25% of the total program at the accepting institution.
- Alabama College System Standardized Nursing Curriculum courses will be transferred without review of the course syllabus.
- Acceptance of transfer students into nursing programs is limited by the number of faculty and clinical facilities available. Meeting minimal standards does not guarantee acceptance.
- Validation of skills and knowledge may be required to determine program placement.
Transient Study Policy
The transient policy applies only to students desiring to transfer between Alabama Community College System institutions. It does not apply to students wishing to transfer from other institutions.
Criteria for Transient Status
- Must meet minimum admission standards for the nursing program.
- Must possess a letter grade of C or higher in all nursing program required courses taken at another institution and possess a minimum of a 2.0 cumulative GPA.
- Dean/director of previous nursing program must provide a letter of eligibility for progression in previous nursing program.
- A student enrolled at another institution must secure permission from that institution by submitting an application for admission to the transient institution and a Transient Student Form completed by an official (Nursing Program Dean/Director) of the primary institution.
- Transient students must complete a Transcript Request Form at the end of the term before a transcript will be issued to the primary institution.
- Must comply with all program policy requirements at accepting transient institution.
- Must meet acceptability criteria for placement at clinical agencies for clinical experience.
- Acceptance of transient student into a nursing program is limited by the number of faculty and clinical facilities available. Meeting minimal standards does not guarantee acceptance.
- Student selection for transient status is based on GPA in nursing program required courses.
ADN Transfer to LPN Program
Associate Degree nursing students may apply for admission to the third semester of the practical nursing program after they have completed the first two semesters of coursework (MTH 100 , ENG 101 , BIO 201 , BIO 202 , NUR 102 , NUR 103 , NUR 104 , NUR 105 , and NUR 106 ) with a letter grade of C or higher. Students who elect to transfer to the last semester in the practical nursing program will be required to meet the current program admission and/or readmission requirements. Students will be admitted on a space available basis to the PN program.
To be eligible for this option, the student must complete the following:
- Complete a transfer/readmission form.
- Have a minimum of a 2.0 cumulative GPA at current institution.
- Meet clinical record/health record requirements.
- The last clinical nursing course in which the student was successful cannot be more than twelve (12) months old.
- Student will be ranked on cumulative GPA for the purposes of transfer/ readmission to the PN program.
- Students who have two attempts in the RN program are only allowed one attempt in the PN program.
- Students who are successful may apply for the LPN to RN Mobility Option as outlined in the College catalog.
- If unsuccessful in the PN transfer option, the student must meet current admission and/or progression requirements.
Note: ADN students who are unsuccessful in the last semester of program may enroll in the last semester of the PN program if not dismissed for unsafe client care.
Comprehensive Achievement Tests
Comprehensive achievement tests from national testing companies are administered in courses throughout the curriculum. These tests are directly related to course content and are required of all nursing students. Students are encouraged to prepare for achievement tests and are required to discuss the interpretation of their scores with their class instructor. Students who score below the expected level are required to complete remediation work to enhance their learning experience and must provide evidence of completion of remediation work. Fees for these tests are paid by the student upon registration for each nursing course in which the test(s) are given.
A student who wishes to withdraw from a nursing course must do so officially by meeting with an advisor/navigator to complete the process through the Office of Enrollment Services. A withdrawal from a nursing course for ANY reason or at ANY time during the semester is counted as one attempt at successfully completing the course. The student will have one additional opportunity to enroll in the course.
Graduation Requirements and Comprehensive Assessment
Requirements for graduation in AA, AS, and AAS degree programs are listed in the College catalog. (Refer to this section for detailed information.) In addition, all students (PN and AD) are required to pass a Comprehensive Assessment in NUR 109 or NUR 204 during the last semester of the program. The Comprehensive Assessment must be passed at a level designated by the faculty in order to pass the course and meet graduation requirements. Students who do not pass the Comprehensive Assessment will be required to participate in remediation activities as determined by the faculty and repeat the Comprehensive Assessment. Each student is provided three opportunities to successfully pass the Comprehensive Assessment. (Refer to Nursing Program Handbook for further information.)
Information about Nursing Licensure
Applicants for admission to Shelton State Community College Nursing programs (PN and ADN) should be aware of the following information about licensure. The Alabama Board of Nursing (ABN) application for licensure by examination includes questions regarding past arrests or convictions for DUI and/or criminal offenses (misdemeanor or felony) and history of mental illness, substance abuse, placement on state or federal abuse registry, and previous court-martial or military discipline. Candidates are advised to respond honestly as failure to do so can result in denial of license as specified by law according to the Nurse Practice Act of Alabama and the Administrative Code of the Alabama Board of Nursing. Application to write the examination may be denied by the Alabama Board of Nursing based on this review. Therefore, successful completion of the PN or ADN program does not guarantee eligibility to write the NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN exam for licensure. For further information, contact the ABN office at 334.293.5200 or 800.656.5318 or visit their website, www.abn.alabama.gov.